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Identify Likely Successors
Look within your organization to identify potential successors for those soon-to-be-open slots. Identify your high-potential employees, along with their skills, performance and readiness. Make sure you have compelling relocation benefits in place in case you need to move personnel.
Provide Development Opportunities
Once potential successors are identified, provide them with development opportunities—such as training and cross-functional experiences—to advance their skills. Work with them to create individualized development plans (which boosts retention, too!).
Establish a Robust Training/Mentorship Program
Connect potential successors with retiring Baby Boomers who will serve as their trainers/mentors. This will allow veteran employees to pass on their knowledge in an organic way to those who will take over their roles.
Implement a Knowledge Management System
In addition, ask retiring employees to capture their tips, best practices and insights by giving presentations, creating workflows/documents, or even making a series of videos. Most subject experts enjoy sharing their knowledge.
Monitor Your Company’s Progress
Keep an eye on the progress of your retirement-bound employees—are they sharing and documenting their vital knowledge? Similarly, monitor the growth of their potential successors by tracking their development.
Business is always changing; good succession plans do, too. Be ready to make adjustments as things evolve. Departing employees may change their retirement dates; successors may not live up to their promises. You may need to identify new successors and occasionally bring in external hires—and that’s part of the process, too. As long as that institutional knowledge exists, it will all work out.
For most employers, their workforce truly is their greatest asset. When you take good care of your people throughout the employment lifecycle, they will take good care of your business.